Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems.” - UBITENNIS
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems.”

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pre-tournament interview.

 

Q. Can you just describe your season so far, how you feel about it.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I can describe it. It was not that good. Usually I start better in my year, but, you know, it’s tennis. I had many problems last year on the second half of the season with my knees and it was not easy to deal with it, so I lost a bit of time with that.

And then to come back and find your best level is never it’s never easy. So it was a tough start, but, you know, I still believe I can play good tennis. During all these months I worked pretty hard. So I think I’m ready, anyway, now to play.

 

Q. How far from your, you know, consistently good level do you think you are?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I don’t know yet, to be honest, because I didn’t play enough matches to be sure. But anyway, I know, like I said just before, I know I worked hard, and, you know, I can’t do more than this.

 

Q. Do you think that then the pressure is off you coming into Roland Garros? You have had good results here because of your season so far. Do you think you’ll be a lot calmer not expecting as much as perhaps when you’ve been doing very, very well?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Not really, because anyway, you know, I expect a lot from me, especially here. I know it’s always a lot of pressure, but I think now I have enough experience. I played a few times Roland Garros. I know how is it.

I always play my best tennis here, so I hope I will continue on this way and play good tennis.

 

Q. There are lots of Frenchmen, French players in the draw doing well.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: As always.

 

Q. Perhaps too many (smiling). Does that take the pressure off? What does that show about French tennis?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: It show we have a good it shows that the Federation did a great job with the young guys. Now we don’t have, you know, a top player, I mean, in the top 5 since a couple of years now, so we need to improve on this.

But anyway, it shows that the French tennis is in good shape.

 

Q. You have been one of the players who we say in English has been knocking on the door of, you know, the top 5, 4, against the guys that are winning most of the majors. Do you feel now that because of Wawrinka that that door is a little bit more open, or is it still the same door is there?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: You know, I always even before Stan, you know, I always tried to keep the door open (smiling). You know, since I’m playing tennis, you know, I dream about the best results, the best tournaments, and I will continue. That’s how I will give my best on the court.

So I think it’s my philosophy, and I will never think it’s impossible to do it.

 

Q. Do you feel that Rafa is more vulnerable this year on clay, or is it crazy to think that in best of five sets?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: If we have to look at the results these last couple of weeks, of course we can say that. But when we look, you know, in the past, there is no reason to say Rafa is different than the other years.

You know, he’s still the same guy, the same champion, and I’m sure he wants to win again here in Roland Garros.

 

Q. How do you feel physically, before anything else, and also mentally before this very special tournament for you? How did you feel when you practiced here?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I feel pretty good, but you should never rely on what is happening during practice, because only matches will show what you are worth.

So today, yes, I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems. I’m very happy to be here.

So for the time being all the green lights are on, and I hope I’m going to have a good tournament in this French Open.

 

Q. It’s never easy to play against a French player, and even less in this tournament. You’re going to play a French player you know well, but it’s also a way of getting into the tournament fast.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, whatever, French or not, you rarely get into the tournament first round already. I will try my best on the court. Every time you step on to the court you’re just beyond the door and you know it’s going to be a new experience. Each time it is over it is always a new satisfaction.

With Edouard, we played several times against each other. I have the feeling that whatever happens, I always play Edouard the first round here. I don’t know why.

So it’s not funny, but…

It’s not funny for me, but I think it’s not funny for him, either.

So we’re going to play, and the best one will go to second round. Same thing as against a final.

 

Q. Apparently you’re fit, but maybe you have some issues with confidence. Do you believe it’s going to come back?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, I have a way of doing things. I’ve did things in my career, I met some goals that seemed maybe far away, and so at this stage of my career, what I’m doing is saying I want to be the best. I want to be best. I want to do things better.

And of course because of that I’m trying to change some things. And I did change many things, in fact, hoping that it’s going to be better.

But I also know it might take time, and you have to work a lot on these things. So long term work is important, too, because as soon as I try something new, if it doesn’t work out right, if I try to do something else, every time I change I’ll never make progress.

So what I’m doing is just choosing something I want to improve and work on it and do it as much as I can, knowing it might take some time before it is efficient.

Of course if after a whole year it’s still not working, well, then, maybe I’ll think about it and maybe change. But for the time being, the goal well, I’m talking about one year. It can be two years or three years. Depends on how strongly I believe in my project.

But anyway, it’s my project. What people say about me doesn’t matter. The important thing is when it is my project, I want to ‘m the one who wants to win the big tournaments.

 

Q. So you might play Djoko in the round of 16. Is it better than in the semis?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, to win a tournament like this you have to beat them all anyway. Whether I’m playing first round or playing the final    or maybe for the French Open for the crowd it’s different, but for me it doesn’t change anything.

I already played round of 16 matches and finals and semifinals. So as I said before, I always want to go further, and that’s what is interesting to me. I don’t want to repeat things and do the same things. I want to do things better.

One day if I believe I cannot make any more progress, I’ll be sitting here in front of you saying, Don’t count on me anymore. I’ll tell you I know I can’t do more.

But if I still am trying, it means I believe I can.

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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John Newcombe Believes The Australian Open Will Be ‘A Big Ask’ For Nick Kyrgios

The tennis legend is unsure if the former top 20 player will be fit in time for the first grand slam of 2020.

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MADRID, SPAIN - Nick Kyrgios of Australia waking to the locked room Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

Former world No.1 John Newcombe has cast doubts on Nick Kyrgios’ chances of going deep in the draw at the upcoming Australian Open.

 

The 75-year-old, who won seven grand slam titles during the 1960s and 1970s, believes the injury-stricken world No.30 may struggle playing best-of-five matches in Melbourne. Kyrgios missed most of the final quarter of the 2019 season due to a shoulder issue. He returned to action last month at the Davis Cup, but skipped his country’s quarter-final clash with Canada due to a collarbone injury. Overall, he has won 23 out of 37 matches played this year.

“It’s a bit of a worry that he has recurring injuries, especially around where the muscles join the joints and that’s going to be an ongoing problem for him it seems,” Newcombe told The Age.
“At the Davis Cup he’d only played four sets of singles and his shoulder started to play up again and when you’ve got an injury like that it’s hard to go out and practice a lot.
“Leading into the Australian Open – five sets is a big ask for him.”

A two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old has struggled to make his mark in the majors this year. Winning just three matches in three grand slam tournaments he played in. Kyrgios missed the French Open due to injury. At his home slam, he lost in the first round for the first time since making his main draw debut back in 2014.

As well as trying to get fit in time for the start of the new season, Kyrgios will continue to be playing under a probation on the ATP Tour for ‘aggravated behaviour.’ Should he violate that, he faces the prospect of a 16-week ban from the tour.

“I can’t speak for him but if it was me it would be tough having that ban hanging over you,” Newcombe said.
“But I guess you’ve just got to learn to zip up.”

Kyrgios is set to start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup, which is the only team event to have both prize money and ranking points available. After that, he is set to play in the Kooyong Classic in what will be his final test prior to the Australian Open.

“I am delighted that Nick has chosen to play Kooyong again, and hopefully it acts as the perfect tune up for his Australian Open (AO) campaign and sets him up for a massive 2020 season.” Tournament director Peter Johnson said in a statement.

So far in his career, Kyrgios has won six titles. Including Acapulco and Washington this year.

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